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New to smokin'

Discussion in 'Roll Call' started by vic81, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. vic81

    vic81 Fire Starter

    Hey everyone - My name is Vic and I am a newbie at smokin'.  A few friends of mine turned me onto this forum - tons of create info!!  This will be my first time giving it a try - my first setup.

    I just purchased a chargriller 5050 at 50% off and picked up the side smoke box.  I am making a few mods including the smoke stack extension inside the main box, the charcoal basket, and flipping the curved plate in the main box to help distribute the heat / smoke.  Here are some pics of my setup with out the FSB / mods.  


    I had a few questions and wondered if you guys could point me in the right direction:

     - I have some 1 year old oak firewood I was going to cut into small pieces and use for smoking, do you think that would be ok flavor wise?

    - for my first try at smoking I was going to try ribs using the 3-2-1 method - what do you guys think, any other recommendations?

    - I hear the temp gauges that came with the chargriller are typically not accurate, what would you recommend?  I was planning on stopping by HD and picking up something that could sit inside the main box........

     - is a water pan necessary or do you think it is needed in only when cooking certain meats?

    I am really looking forward to getting into this - even had my 4 year old up late tonight with me (9pm) outside putting the FSB on the grill.  

    thanks in advance for the help!!
  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    First of all welcome to SMF - you are gonna like it here - lots of friendly and helpful folks. As far as the wood goes, oak is not the wood of choice for most of us. Hickory, maple, pecan most of the fruit woods are the ones most used. I have seen a couple of guys that do use oak but very few - someone will be along with mods they have done to that smoker. 

    I really recommend you take the 5 day course and spend some time searching the threads for some helpful hints on cooking methods and rubs

    Just understand that you have a new addiction once this gets going  
  3. hannibal

    hannibal Smoke Blower

    Welcome to SMF. You will get a lot of good info here; I now I do.

    As for your questions:

    I have never used oak so I can't answer you on that one. I would imagine it would be similar to hickory. [​IMG]

    The 3-2-1 method is highly recommended for spares; baby backs would be 2-2-1.

    I recommend the Maverick ET 73 dual probe thermo. One probe shows the temp of the smoker and the other the temp of the meat, and it has a handy remote display that is wireless. Very cool tool and not very expensive.

    The water pan is a debate; however, I use mine in my MES 30 all the time. In theory, it helps keep moisture in the meat.

    Some other recommendations:

    Get the 5 day "class." Some great info and tips in there.

    Enjoy your new smoker, and post lots of QView!

    Good luck!
  4. Welcome Vic, glad you joined. I occasionally use oak. Oak has a stronger flavor than hickory or fruit woods. When I do use oak, it is only on full packer briskets. I don't use as much as I would with other woods. I have found that well aged oak is what you want, it is a little milder.

    My best advice is to try different woods till you like what is coming out of your smoker.

    Get some smoke going and put up some qview. We will be looking forward to it.
  5. matts

    matts Smoking Fanatic

  6. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Welcome Vic!

    Your'e gonna like what you see here.

  7. vic81

    vic81 Fire Starter

    thanks guys - I'll check out the 5 day coarse.  Looks like I am going to have a chance to fire it up this weekend, maybe ribs on Sunday [​IMG]

    BTW - Qview?  I'm assuming that is just pics?
  8. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Welcome to SMF!!

     Yes ,Q view is what we call pics of our smokes .

     Try to find some fruit wood for your ribs . you will be suprized at the taste.
  9. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off Welcome Vic to SMF. you'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

    Welcome To Your New Addiction
  10. sqwib

    sqwib Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  11. etcher1

    etcher1 Master of the Pit

    Welcome [​IMG]to the [b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b][b]SMF[/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b][/b] forum, You came to the right place. Good people and good info.
  12. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview. [​IMG]
  13. vic81

    vic81 Fire Starter

    Thanks guys.  Here are some pics of my mods:

    smoke stack mod - [​IMG]

    Here is my charcoal basket - after I took the pic, I used my angle grinder to cut the bolts down to size.  The other pic is the firebox up and running for today's smoke [​IMG]   I have another thread about dinner.......


  14. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    If the smoker didn't come w/ a water pan it wasn't designed to be used w/ one . The water pan while providing moisture is mainly designed to distribute the heat. ( eliminate hot spots). If you want to try water just get a metal coffee can and burn it . then fill w/ water and put it in the cooking chamber right next to the smoke / heat intake.
  15. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    Hello Vic and welcome. Looks like you have a nice smoker set-up. Everyone has offered excellent advice, and there is a ton of other great infomation on here.

    All I can add is the obvious-trial & error when you smoke to get the feel of your equipment & how it performs.

    Pay attention to food safety-there have been several good posts on here recently about food safety. The 5 day course will help.

    I would also reccomend smoking for a while before you invite a group over, or promise to feed a gathering, just for your own practice. We had someone mention the other day having a bunch of hungry folks waiting on you to feed them and there is a delay-not good!

    Good luck & happy smoking!
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  16. vic81

    vic81 Fire Starter

    Thanks man - I agree with you 100% on the smoking for friends right off the bat......my wife decided it would be good to have friends over.....needless to say I was greatly concerned, thank goodness my first attempt (ribs) turned out awesome.